SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa has the potential to become a major unconventional gas producer‚ according to a new World Energy Council report launched at the Africa Gas Forum.
The report states that the growth of unconventional gas is spreading across the world with major implications over many years for markets and prices and mentions South Africa along with some other countries as having significant potential for shale gas development.
South Africa needs more than 50GW of new electricity generation‚ however little progress has been made in exploiting its unconventional gas resources‚ the report notes.
Large reserves of shale gas have been identified in the Karoo basin which alone could provide up to 4% of additional electricity requirements with no need for pipelines‚ it says.
However‚ to take advantage of these opportunities‚ the study says that South Africa needs to take three key actions: plan infrastructure and ensure water management is taken into account; build local expertise and provide financial incentives such as tax incentives.
“Unconventional gas is causing a shift in the dynamics of the natural gas market which will be felt for many decades to come.
Its spread around the world is being accelerated because it can make gas more affordable to consumers and reduce concerns about the security of supply‚” says Christoph Frei‚ secretary-general of the World Energy Council.
“South Africa has the potential to become a major unconventional gas producer and should persevere despite the current low prices since gas is a long-term game.
If South Africa invests in its infrastructure and develops local expertise that creates an enabling framework‚ then investment will follow and it can realise its full unconventional gas potential‚” Mr Frei says – TMG Digital